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Tirupati creates record donations

Tirupati,Sep 11 (): Tirupati has collected a record Rs 54.46 crore through donations in the last fiscal.

Most of the donations were for the various trusts run by Tirupati Devasthanam. Known as World’s richest Hindu shrine, Tirupati’s annadhanam scheme run by a trust it operates tops the list of being the biggest receiver of donations. This trust known as SV Annadhanam feeds close to one lakh devotees free of cost every day who come to Tirupati.

The trust collected around Rs 28 crores. Most of the devotees were in favour of free food in Tirupati temple. The trust has a massive canteen. The next biggest attraction for Tirupati devotees is the parandhanam and arogyaprasindhi scheme operated by another two trusts.

Tirupati has two medical centers that have a hospital with ultra modern facilities and a rehabilitation centre for the disabled. These two trusts received around Rs 13 crores. The trust runs a scheme for free education for children, and another trust manages a cow protection shelter.

Tirupati has ten trusts including a one with Sankara Nethralaya for giving free medical treatment for eye ailments. The donors have touched  32,000 till last month.

Last month, the Andhra government formed a special authority to govern the Tirupati temple to set right the wrongs of the administration. It had been a move by TD to bring the Tirupati under its control, say critics.

Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam has an independent body status but after the special authority that oversees, the TTD will be reconstituted by TD MLA and their nominees. As per the amendment to the Act, Principal Secretary has been made Chairman of new authority for one year. The objective is to stop malpractice and corruption.

Legally,the Supreme Court has stated that governments should not take over temples arbitrarily. Tamil Nadu that is managing many temples has in recent times been able to recover temple lands that were given to individuals by officials on lease.